Boat rideshare service coming to the Laguna Madre area

By Angie Gamez

Special to the Press


The South Padre Island area and surrounding communities Port Isabel and Laguna Vista could soon be the Uber of boats area, when word of the GetMyBoat app gets out. Val Streif, Marketing Manager for GetMyBoat calls the service “the world’s largest Uber of Boats.”  

The app has a simple process: the GetMyBoat app (iOS and Android) is downloaded, and boats are booked from the app. The benefits are great, Streif said, for both renters (locals and tourists) and the boat or watercraft owners.  

GetMyBoat is a relatively new starter company, launched in San Francisco in 2013. Its co-founders are Sascha Mornell and Rafael Collado. 

The app has more than 9,300 destinations around the world, wanting to add South Padre Island. GetMyBoat is a virtual tech company with about 30 employees. Its platform is bringing renters and boat and watercraft owners together. 

The costs of private boat ownership includes cost of the boat, maintenance, slip fees, storage, insurance, and towing. Renting your boat through GetMyBoat could help defray these costs by earning revenue during those times when the boat is not being used. 

Renters that want to enjoy the day boating or fishing will go to the app and specify the destination, type of boat they wish to rent, the number of people on the people, and if they wish to pay by the hour, half day, day, or week. Also, whether they want to take the boat out on their own or if they need a captain/guide to accompany them. Boat owners set the fees. 

Private boat owners or marinas can create an account on, setting up a profile that includes boat specifications, photos, and owner set fees, which could be hourly, half day, daily or weekly. GetMyBoat verifies owner/operator of the boat and contact information. 

Next, the customer (renter) and owner are able to chat via the messaging service on the app to work out the details and arrange pickup or launch area. 

“Owners are sometimes captains, and if the renter chooses to book a boat with a captain, the owner/captain will accompany them. This depends on local laws and regulations, and boating skills of the renter,” according to Streif. 

The renter will book and pay on the app.  After booking, the boat owner and renter communicate via email and phone. The funds are released to the boat owner after completion of the rental.

Both renter and boat owner will pay a 7 percent fee to GetMyBoat per booking. If, for example, the booking is $500, the renter would pay $535, with the boat owner receiving $465.

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